The Long Riders' Guild
Stories from The Road - page 1
it is our continuing mission to preserve the oral legends and written traditions
of equestrian travel, The Long Riders' Guild website features the
work of famous equestrian travel authors. However we also proudly showcase
previously unpublished work by Long Riders from a host of countries.
So ride along with these intrepid
Long Riders in the world's first collection of equestrian "Stories from the
Have you never wanted to get in the saddle and head for the horizon? Don’t you
remember the first time you understood the freedom which the horse offered you?
You are not alone!
If you are thinking of turning your back on the security of home to make an
equestrian journey, you are already part of an ancient phenomenon. This
desire has nothing to do with money, religion, gender, language or nationality.
Click on picture to read an amazing history of equestrian travel.
After surviving a host
of physical dangers and emotional challenges many a Long Rider has had to face a
final dilemma. What to do with the cherished horse who has carried you so far
and changed the fabric of your life? The options are never pleasant when the
journey ends far, far away from the Long Rider’s home. At the conclusion of
his ride through Turkey, Welsh Long Rider Jeremy James was faced with such a
difficult decision. In his moving story, “The Old Man, the Lake and the
Stallion,” the Long Rider known as the “poet of the saddle” shares memories
of a painful past. Click on picture to read his moving story.
No mere mileage
counter, Katie Russell’s account of riding across the western American states is
remarkable in terms of its emotional honesty, personal insight and equestrian
wisdom. Click on picture to read this true classic available on line.
Journey to the Western
- In 1414 a Chinese diplomat named Chen Cheng was ordered by Emperor Yongle to
undertake a hazardous equestrian journey to the distant city of Herat. Located
in today’s modern Afghanistan, Herat was then the capital of the Timurid empire.
Chen Cheng’s mission was to deliver precious Chinese silks to Emperor Shahrukh.
In exchange, the Chinese Long Rider was ordered to obtain a large herd of the
valuable horses used by Shahrukh’s legendary mounted archers. Though a
handful of scholars were aware of Chen Cheng’s journey, Dr. Sally Church
recently completed the first translation of the Long Rider’s diary. The result
is a day to day account which has the ring of authenticity about it. Chen Cheng,
runs into many problems, all of which he records. While these include snow
storms and bad trails, one of the most telling is the brief account of how the
horses drown trying to cross the river. There are many occasions during
the nine month journey when Chen and his friends are just too tired to continue,
preferring instead to take several days away from the intense rigours of their
saddles. Click on picture to read the oldest known example of an Historical Long
Rider’s “Story from the Road.”
“Why are you doing this?” pedestrians have asked Long
Riders in a multitude of tongues in countries scattered around the globe.
Though the answer to this ancient question is as complex as the wide
variety of equestrian explorers represented by The Guild, North American
Long Rider Andi Mills has expressed what may be the perfect answer to
on picture to read her definition!
Not only had DC Vision never made an equestrian
journey, he had never even mounted a horse! Yet that didn't stop the young
man from Maine from completing a 14,000 mile spiritual odyssey through the
Click on the picture to read DC's story, "A
Journey to Simplify Life."
In 1925 Aimé
Tschiffely, a Swiss teacher living in Argentina, set out on an epic ride
with two Criollo horses, Mancha and Gato. The amateur explorer's
goal was to travel ten thousand miles from Buenos Aires to Washington, DC,
over some of the world's most inhospitable country. Their odyssey
lasted two and a half years, forced horses and rider to survive through
near-impossible conditions, and ended with a hero's welcome at the White
Click on picture to read about
the astonishing ride that changed the course of equestrian travel history
The Long Riders'
Guild has received another update from Billy and Christy, the intrepid duo
riding from the top of Tunisia to the bottom of South Africa. They are
now in Uganda, where nobody has seen a horse since 1966. Click on
picture to read the latest instalment.
Though the Long Riders’ Guild
hosts a pantheon of legends, few could equal the dangerous adventures which
“Don Carlos” Thurlow-Craig survived. After have left his native Wales, the
footloose youth ventured to South America, where, mounted on his trusty
Criollo gelding, Bobby, he rode in
Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil and the Gran Chaco jungle during the early 1920s.
Click on picture to read a recollection of Don Carlos’ blazing life. It
recalls a man who rode as hard as Tschiffely and wrote with as much passion as
Canadian Long Rider Bonnie
Folkins’ mission is to use her horse and camera to arrive at a deeper
understanding of Central Asia’s remaining nomads. Though she has travelled
and photographed in Italy, India,
Australia and Latin America, the impassioned Long Rider has been repeatedly
drawn back to the land of horses and free riders. Click on picture to read
Daniel Robinson decided to travel from China to India. The young man made a journey
which required equal doses of courage, stamina and naivety, but his journey had ended with him being unfairly imprisoned.
The facts of the resulting campaign to have Daniel freed are detailed in
the editorial entitled “The Price of a Pilgrimage Luckily, Daniel was
freed, but the location and welfare of his two faithful mules, Mae Ling and Hu Mae, remained a mystery.
But in this story Daniel writes about how he was finally
able to rescue the animals from Indian custody. .
Rider Ed Anderson has some potentially life-saving wisdom for those planning
to ride the Pacific Coast Trail, which runs from the Mexican to the Canadian
borders through some of the United States' most challenging mountain
terrain. Click on picture to learn more.
||Click on picture to read the
most moving account of how a Long Rider feels after returning to
night we were dirty, isolated, and free; to-night we are clean, sociable,
This is the final chapter in Louisa
Jebb's wonderful account of her journey in Iraq and Syria at the beginning
of the twentieth century.
Top of page
Riders' Guild -
Home of the
world's saddle borne Argonauts!